Baird Survey: Powerboat Sales Higher in April

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May 7, 2014 by   Comments Off on Baird Survey: Powerboat Sales Higher in April

                                                                                            Editor’s Note: The following is a report by R.W. Baird & Co. analyzing powerboat sales during April.

MRAA/Baird Marine Retailer Pulse Report. We contacted 183 marine retailers to assess trends in April, in partnership with the Marine Retail Association of the Americas (MRAA). New boat retail improved in April, relative to weak Q1 trends. Retailer sentiment remains positive, although the extended winter and condensed selling season have caused seasonal inventory to build for some retailers. The next few months are critical. Still, we remain bullish on the space as the wealth effect releases pent-up demand in the deeply depressed boat market.

Boat demand increases in April. New boat retail increased in April – a welcome improvement following a slow first quarter as markets begin to thaw. Seasonally, April marks the beginning of the core retail season, representing 12% of annual sales. New boat retail increased in April, with more retailers reporting an increase (41%) than decrease (25%). Used boat retail continued to outpace new, with nearly half (48%) of retailers showing an increase (just 19% reported a decrease, often citing limited supply). New boat inventory is seasonally elevated – but used boats are scarce. New boat inventory appears elevated for this time of year – likely due to the prolonged winter that slowed inventory turns at the retailer level.

Credit remains healthy. Marine retailers reported good access to retail and wholesale credit in April. Baird said 56% report that retail credit conditions are “favorable” compared to three months ago, while 55% report “favorable” wholesale credit conditions.

Bullish on affluent marine consumers. We remain bullish on discretionary spending as affluent consumers benefit from monetary policy aimed at reflating asset values, creating investment wealth. Although the harsh winter has deferred demand and condensed the selling season, we expect the wealth to trigger the release of pent-up demand over time, particularly in the deeply depressed boat market.
Please contact your Baird representative for our detailed report.

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